|Our tree topper this year was a|
panda, wearing a red Santa hat
that I made, holding
a Halo gun from the video game...
All because the star wouldn't stay
up and I decided it could play
second fiddle to the Panda.
I had to break the last post up because it was getting frightfully long. I last left you all about a week and a half before Christmas, and I have to say, it was a nice holiday season for the South County Family...
(hey look at that, I used the word "family" without gagging! 2013 is looking up already!)
I managed to get 2 weeks off from work and for the first time in I don't know how many years, I didn't have to work New Years Day. Christmas was festive. We went and saw a live demonstration of the Christmas story complete with real animals which really helped set the mood for me.
I really enjoyed being apart of the Christmas Concert at church, even if my mom didn't come. It was lovely, moving, and powerful... and I was proud of myself for putting myself out there and jumping into something new. I learned to read music, push myself to be a better singer, and really feel the holiday music the night of the performances... It was a moving experience.
We went to "Candy Cane Lane," one night and walked around the really drastically decorated homes (pictured below). They had fake snow falling from their houses, and even some kids were out selling cookies and coco to buy toys for kids who were in the hospital.
|Candy Cane Lane....|
We even enjoyed the time when my mom came over and we celebrated our own mini Christmas on Christmas Eve as planned. She came over at Noon and we had fun snacks and munchies. I prayed her "Christmas CD" and SCB and I stayed in our PJ's all day and had a nice visit. She only stayed for an hour and a half, but it was still nice and pleasant and left fond memories of a good and drama free Christmas. The mood wasn't even dampened when my mom would talk about or mention my sister.
|Me embracing my inner Taylor Swift at the |
Red lipstick Required,
and yes, SCB went CraZY!
I didn't get bitter... or angry... or even sad...
Somewhere along this journey over the past month or so I just let it all go...
I'm not sure when it happened... or even when that moment came... or if it was even a single moment and not small moments all over the place... But I realized that things would be okay for me with or without my biological family members.
Simply removing the drama, stress, and worries that had always been in my life ... apart of my life... the center of my life--- just removing it all gave me such a sense of peace that I felt like I was finally living. Finally moving on and starting fresh and new.
I felt free and burden-less.
It was my holiday, on my terms. We were free to make new traditions, and to bring back some old ones.
When my mom left, my husband and I dragged out our mattress and put it on the floor in our living room right by the tree... We turned on our fireplace DVD and listened to it crackle as we watched Christmas movies and camped out in the living room with every stuffed animal I owned crammed onto our couch.
|The stuffed animal sleep over... Yes, I have a thing for |
Pandas and bears...
I swear I only bought 2... the rest were all gifts.
As a firm believer in Santa I made my husband sit through miracle on 24th street too many times this year while I jumped up and down in my seat saying
"I Believe" ... "I Believe."
I even made him watch both versions of the Grinch even though he isn't a fan of the Jim Carrey version.
Ya, we forgot about a few things, like making Santa cookies, and reading from Luke 2 on Christmas eve, but we modified our traditions and left Santa some of the yummy peppermint bark a friend from church brought over randomly.
|Christmas with my mom... |
and the best stocking ever...
and I love that.
That someone would feel welcome to just knock on my door and say hi. I've always wanted to have friends that just show up at your door without feeling the need to call and see if you are at home just to spend time with you and participate in the thing we call life. I seriously love the church I go to and the people in it. I've never felt so welcomed and at home-- even as an "outsider."
They really restore my faith in human kind.
We had a night that can only be described as ours. And I liked it. I even liked the fact that the christmas bark we left out got nibbled on and while SCB swears it was him... I know it was Santa.
On Christmas Day we opened our home up to the missionaries again to open presents, skype their parents, and eat yummy breakfast sandwiches I made.
|My favorite thing... playing in snow!!! |
Its even fun to shovel it.
That afternoon when they left, we loaded up the car and headed straight to Utah. We arrived at 1:00 am the morning after Christmas, and by 3:00 am it started snowing and dropped a good 6 inches of fresh powder. Over the next week we got another 6 inches and it was like living in a snow globe.
Snow was a constant companion and I loved it. Snow is perfect. No one can convince me of anything different.
|Ya, it's not a family trip without one|
day of shooting.. This is my
We went to our favorite Utah places... thrift shopped at the local D.I. stores where I found SCB an actual suit jacket for $10.00... It was also where I was reunited with a skirt I had gotten rid of 2 years ago because it was too small on me, only to found it in the now perfect size for me for $5!!!
We spent an afternoon doing the annual shooting gathering/experience... It was snowing the whole time we were out, but despite the cold, i'm pretty decent when I aim and each year i seem to get better and better. I shot mostly a 22 riffle and my sister-in-laws 28 special, but I did take a round or two on my brother-in-laws new AR-15... and hit my target on the first shot. :)
|My friends kid... isn't she cute???|
All in all, it was just what we needed when we needed it.
Sure life hasn't been all that awesome at times, like in November when our Dryer heating element blew out and we thought Christmas was going to be cancelled as we tried to figure out how to replace it. But eventually SCB was able to find the part online, get the missionaries to come over and help him move the sucker out of the tiny storage area, and then later install and put the whole thing back together all on his own, --- all for $80 instead of the hundreds it would have cost us to replace the entire thing.
|Reuniting with all my utah friends who moved away...|
Oh and then there was the fact that I spent an entire 24 hours over new years eve and new years day getting so violently that i literally rang in the New Year puking my guts out on the front porch of my Mother-in-Laws house right onto one of her frozen planter boxes because the bathroom was full of people and that was the closest acceptable location to get sick in... Which I did wearing only socks on my feet with snow on the ground and a high in the single digits.
But that's all just life, and we live it. Each day has opportunities to remember the good things and laugh at the bad and I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for us.
|My favorite Utah Neighbor... Blue... Such a nice doggie!|
|SCB and his dad on the train back from temple square.|
Eating at Kneaders... Yum!
|I didn't know it could go negative!|
|Post Christmas Sale finds for $5 each!!! Can't wait to put|
these up next year.